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Location Senegal, Tambacounda
Central coordinates 13o 2.00' West  12o 55.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 913,000 ha
Altitude 16 - 311m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The park lies in south-eastern Senegal, straddling the upper Gambia river and its tributaries (the Koulountou and the Niokolo-Koba), and close to and, in part, along the international frontier with Guinea, where it is contiguous with Badiar National Park (GN001). The park is largely flat, but includes a line of low hills in the east, reaching up to around 200 m (maximum 311 m at Mont Assirik). Much of the area is formed from laterite (iron pans) and sediments overlying Cambrian sandstone beds that outcrop in places. There are large areas of flood-plain and marsh (mainly in abandoned riverbeds and behind levées), inundated during the seasonal rains (June to October); mean annual rainfall is over 1,000 mm. The vegetation includes southern Sudan–Guinea savanna, with gallery forest and more luxuriant vegetation along watercourses and Vetiveria grasses or herbaceous savanna dominated by Andropogon gayanus in the valleys and plains. Flooded grassland areas are composed of Paspalum orbiculare and Echinocloa sp. Dry forest contains patches of bamboo Oxytenanthera abyssinica. The ravines and gallery forest include typical plant species of the Guinea–Congo Forest biome such as lianas and Raphia sudanica, Baissea multiflora, Nauclea latifolia, Dalbergia saxatilis and Landolphia dulcis. The vegetation on the slopes and hills, rocky outcrops, alluvial sands and iron pans is different. Semi-aquatic species and annuals appear along rivers and on periodically inundated sands. Dry forest or herbaceous savanna is found along the borders of some ponds, and thickets of thorn-bush, Mimosa pigra, occupy the centre of some marshes. Marsh vegetation on higher ground and acid soils includes Oryza brachyantha (wild rice) and, on humid banks, localized species such as Christiana africana, Cola laurifolia, Cynometra vogelii, Syzygium guineense, and Ziziphus amphibia occur. Riverbank species also include Acacia nilotica, Khaya senegalensis, Erythrophleum guineense, Ceiba pentandra, Afzelia africana and Borassus sp. Over 1,500 plant species have been recorded in the park.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Fox Kestrel Falco alopex resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-thighed Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Adamawa Turtle-dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Guinea Turaco Tauraco persa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bearded Barbet Lybius dubius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Green Woodpecker Campethera maculosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow Penduline-tit Anthoscopus parvulus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fanti Saw-wing Psalidoprocne obscura resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sun Lark Galerida modesta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oriole Warbler Hypergerus atriceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis chalcurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crowned Robin-chat Cossypha albicapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-fronted Black-chat Myrmecocichla albifrons resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crimson Seedcracker Pyrenestes sanguineus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Niokolo Koba National Park 913,000 is identical to site 913,000  
Niokolo-Koba National Park World Heritage Site 913,000 is identical to site 913,000  
Parc national du Niokolo-Koba UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 913,000 is identical to site 913,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   72%
Forest   27%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity Records from the park include 80 mammal species, 38 reptiles, 20 amphibians and 60 fish, as well as numerous invertebrates. Carnivores include Lycaon pictus (EN). The only Senegalese populations of the mammals Taurotragus derbianus (LR/nt) and Loxodonta africana (EN) are found in the park. There are also around 150 Pan troglodytes (EN) living in the gallery forest and on the slopes of Mont Assirik, at the north-west limit of their distribution. All three African crocodiles occur in the park, including Crocodylus cataphractus (DD) and Osteolaemus tetraspis (VU).

References Dupuy and Verschuren (1977), IUCN (1987a), Morel and Morel (1990), Payne (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Parc National du Niokolo-Koba. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/07/2014

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